The Great A'Tuinment

30-Foot Devil Dongs

After their meeting with the Five Houses of Hunghung (former warlord clans working “together” to usurp the throne from the devilish Madame Butterfly, the Told Ones returned to their inn, “The Purple Dumpring”. They promptly fell asleep two-to-a-room (yes it’s important), except for Deck and Henry, who espied some black-masked monk-ish types snuffing out the lights, then sneaking their way into the rooms, and attempting to stab everyone to death in their sleep. Thanks to some quick thinking from Deck and his extra-noisy “gonne”, the sneak attack was not as fatal as these “ninjas” had hoped, and the heroes jumped to action and fought them off bravely, exploding at least two of them and nearly burning down the inn (did I mention Lord M was there?). Upon checking the remaining ninjas’ corpses, the Told Ones noticed the seal of a Butterfly stitched to each of the assassins’ outfits. #treacheryafoot @somethingstinksinthestateofhunghung

Our heroes kindly paid for the damages to the Purple Dumpring, and promptly…fell asleep again, but for real this time. The next day brought a sense of hope, as the heroes set about some good-ol’-fashioned freeform “City RP-ing”: selling shit, busking (in the Bard‘s case), putting in a day’s work (Deck), meeting with the local chapter of the Assassins’ Guild (Dialyn), begging for rhinu then going to the dojo (I’ll let you guess), crap like that which we need from time to time in between death-battles. The group also communed with their old Beholder friends and asked for information regarding their ship The Holy Vessel as well as the whereabouts of Sandra & Mr. Slant.

Sen’dai and Beau met a young Agatean man on the streets who introduced himself (in an accent much like Deck’s, oddly enough) as Wee Wang McSweeney of the McSweeney clan. Yep. He said he had information from the Five Houses, at which point all the heroes reconvened. Wee Wang gave them a map of the Forbidden City, the elusive inner-city which housed Madame Butterfly’s labyrinthine stronghold known as the Forbidden Palace. They then discussed the best way to infiltrate this compound, and learned that they had to first take out the anti-magic field within the city, then deal with the ever-present search-lantern sentry-towers (that’s a lot of hyphens), and finally abscond with 2 Emblems (the Yin and the Yang) – which were the keys to entering the city – all while evading the vigilant Fluttering Horde, Madame Butterfly’s ninja patrol and enforcers. Oh, and one other thing: the Emblems, once removed from their housing, would trigger a 1-minute timer, after which point the master alarm would sound…UNLESS the Emblems were inserted into their “keyholes” at the Palace Gate. Talk about pressure!

The Told Ones finally met with the heads of the Houses (as well as their informant, the vizier “Larry”) at the Red Lotus Club, and laid out their plan: they would split into 2 teams (3 if you count Wee Wang and his Merry Band of NPCs), each team taking out half the anti-magic field and 1 of the sentry towers, then grabbing one of the Emblems and racing it to the Palace door. They also spread some of their new revolutionary friends out among the crowd to whom Loki (disguised as the vizier Larry) had promised FREE DINNER. This crowd descended upon the main Forbidden City gate like mimosa-parched vultures, creating a major distraction as Team Serenity (Sen’dai, Loki, Deck) and Team Hellion (Lord M, Dialyn, Beau) infiltrated the city walls from opposite ends, using their stealthiest of stealth checks.

Little by little, our heroes made their way over and across the city wall, taking out guards and destroying the anti-magic fields, working their ways inwards as two efficient-ass units towards the sentry towers. They also employed some solid banana-based distractions to trick some of the guards patrolling the streets. Each team incapacitated the guards atop each sentry tower and diverted the lantern beams away from the small huts where the Emblems were housed. Beau & Sen’dai, the fastest of the bunch, snatched the Emblems as soon as each sentry tower was “down”, then ran them quickly-yet-quietly to the Palace gates, where the rest of the party reassembled. You should’ve been there, the whole thing was pretty bad-ass.

Upon examining the Palace door, however (and with only seconds to spare before the alarm went off), the Told Ones noticed no “keyholes” for the Emblems. Had they been betrayed? Was their intel bad? Were they totally screwed? Find out next ti—

No just kidding, they just had to push that door open. But INSIDE that door was a huge inner courtyard with a weirdly-peaceful Zen Garden, at the other end of which was the door they needed to open (guarded by two last guards). Knowing they only had a moment remaining before the alarm triggered, our heroes began bolting towards the door…when they heard the sound of sweeping from nearby, and an old man calling out: “Spare a minute to help an old man sweep his garden?”

Borogravian Roulette

The Counterweight Continent’s capital of Hunghung seemed abuzz with crowded activity as the Told Ones entered the foreign city: richshaws slamming into one another, exotic smells and sights, and in the distance, the sounds of cheering and music. Upon approaching the source of the commotion, our heroes discovered the local people in the midst of a celebration: The Agatean New Year Festival. Fireworks and costumes and dancing lined the street, and then a somewhat-familiar odor…penetrated the nostrils of our adventurers (and almost killed poor Henry). They located the source of the smell: It was Disembowel-Myself-Honorably Dibbrer, peddling his dericious 100-year eggs and sushi (“caught fresh in Bes Pelargic and then shipped here several weeks later for your consumption! Take a order prease!”) He seemed surprised to see a group of foreigners in his very isolationist city, saying that most people in Hunghung believed foreigners to be “nothing more than howling ghosts haunting a barren wasteland.”

After some bartering (and clever sleight-of-hand from Beau), the Told Ones were able to purchase and semi-successfully devour some suspicious sushi rolls, and were then rewarded with a magic item from Dibbrer’s “special supply”. He then went on to tell them the secrets of the city: Madame Butterfly, the current ruler, had taken power after Cohen the Barbarian conquered (and then swiftly abandoned) the Empire. Her origins were unknown and possibly devious, but there were some in the city who were not as keen on her rule. Unfortunately for them, Butterfly was protected not only by her lethal ninja enforcers known as the Fluttering Horde, but also by the Forbidden City’s impenetrable anti-magic wall and many deadly traps…At that point, the all-important and extremely traditional “Four Shadow Dragons” entered the parade route, and everyone had a good laugh. The celebration had reach its fever pitch.

Amidst the kerfuffle on the street came more shouts, but this time they were shouts, not of joy, but of horror. For above the buildings hovering overhead was a terrifying monster who was creating some pyrotechnics of its own…and burning the bystanders all around it. The Told Ones quickly identified the creature as a sort of Beholder-fire-variant, which became evident as it used its eye rays to burn and destroy everything in sight. Leaping into action, our heroes attacked the Beholder, who turned some of its attention away from the innocents and onto them. This gave the good guys a window to start rescuing as many burn victims as possible while still keeping the monster at bay. Loki used a powerful illusion and some nifty Thulian-water-magicks to douse the monstrosity, while Sen’dai and Beau kept jumping on its head for some reason. Dialyn (and strangely-enough, our old fiend Lord M) focused on aiding the poor helpless bystanders.

After a heated battle (womp womp), the Beholder sort of…exploded fire…all over everyone, but then revealed itself anew, thankfully looking far less evil. It explained that it was one of Blind Io’s “eyes” around the Disc, but had been corrupted by powerful possession and made to do terrible things. It thanked the heroes and set about trying to mitigate the damage it had just done in its corrupted state. The now-good Beholder also showed our heroes some interesting visions: most notably, they saw Madame Butterfly in her throne room, using some sort of item to attempt to conjure some form of magic, after which a vizier whispered something in her ear. The Beholder then took his leave, promising to give the Told Ones “use of his eyes” should they ever wish to see anything in the Counterweight Continent.

They pondered what to make of this as they cleaned up the mess, including taking some poor little parent-less children to the orphanage — with some help from Mr. Clean the Broom and Sebastian the Aquatic Horse. Meanwhile, Loki found an inn for them to stay in, the Purple Dumpling, and decided to try transforming herself into the vizier from the vision and invite the entire town to a brunch inside the Forbidden City the next day; her plan was to create a distraction at the gates of the Forbidden City to give her and her compatriots an opportunity to sneak in. The townspeople seemed excited and confused about this, most of all the inn’s bartender, who shot “Loki” a strange look before he walked away.

From outside the inn, a shadow was seen darting through the alleys. Deck, Beau, and Sen’dai gave chase (although it was never clear who exactly was in the lead) and eventually found an old man hiding in a barrel of fireworks. He apologized and admitted that he had been following and spying on the Told Ones since they had entered his city, but he insisted that it was for an honorable purpose: he was Hong, the leader of one of the Five Houses of Hunghung, and he had important information for them. The Told Ones agreed to follow the man to his group’s secret meeting place. Strangely, it seemed to be a bizarre nightclub of sorts, with mirrored floors and mini-skirted roller-skating cocktail waitresses serving drinks. The place, known as the Red Lotus, seemed like the worst kind of dance party…with the worst kind of music.

That is, until Hong led our adventurers into a private room, where the music changed to a melodic ballad being sung live by a man wearing all green. He and Hong exchanged looks while the green-clad man sung in a weirdly-not-at-all-Agatean accent (in fact he sorta sounded like Deck); he then pushed a button on his microphone to open a secret door into a smoke-filled basement deep underground. In this wretched hive of scum and villainy, our heroes found tables full of seedy men playing various gambling games, including a terrifying do-or-die game where the participants would take a revolving crossbow and hold it to their own temples before squeezing the trigger. Barbaric, I know.

But this of course did not deter the fearless Told Ones, who were told to join this possibly-suicidal group of men…and then join their possibly-suicidal game. This seemed a rite of passage of sorts, a test to show their bravery before certain doom. Each of the Told Ones took turns pointing the crossbow at their heads and hoping for a distinct lack of a…splitting headache. With a little magical help (and some solid luck), each of them passed the test in their own unique way, earning the respect of these men: the rest of the leaders of the Five Houses. They introduced themselves as Hong, Sung, Fang, Tang, and of course the oldest of the Houses…McSweeney.

After some confused preamble, the Hongs and Sungs and Tangs and — you know what? you get it — got to the point: they believed Madame Butterfly to be in league with a devil, maybe even be a devil herself. Her family had long been in possession of the Sword of Douchian, an ancient relic crafted by some of Lord M’s old chums in the fires of Hell. Aside from being an immensely powerful weapon, it also had a hidden power…a power the Five Houses believed to be extremely dangerous in anyone’s hands, let alone the woman they wished to overthrow.

Although they all seemed to hate each other, the heads of the Five Houses seemed to hate Butterfly more, and had put aside their differences in order to “BRING BACK THE EMPIRE!!” and with it, the good ol’ days of absolutely tyranny. Still, this seemed like a better option than “complete Disc-wide annihilation” which, according to Hong, may well be the case if Butterfly got to use the sword’s power to its fullest. The Five Houses then asked the Told Ones to join their cause of ousting Madame Butterfly and “relieving her” of the Sword of Douchian. What the plan was for AFTER she was deposed was up for some debate…but in the meantime, our heroes seemed to have a joint cause with the Five Houses. They agreed to help formulate a plan to infiltrate the Forbidden City and then act as a small strike squad to delve into the Forbidden Palace and confront Madame Butterfly before she could do something diabolical. The plan would go down the following night.

But for now, it was time to rest and regroup, and the Told Ones retired to the Purple Dumpling for a well-earned sleep. Which of course is Dungeons & Dragons for “Overnight Ninja Ambush”. Find out if our heroes survive…next time!

No One Is Offended At All

After revitalizing the land and saying goodbye to their newly-healed friends in Sum Dim, The Told Ones ventured forth towards Hunghung, capital city of the Agatean Empire (err, Republic). Only one last obstacle stood in their path: the Great Agatean Wall, guarded by the extremely loyal and honor-bound not-at-all-racist-sounding-samurai known as the Heavenly Guard.

A week’s journey brought our adventurers near the wall, upon which they discovered an immense antimagic field surrounding the monumental structure in every direction (including up, as Henry was able to detect). The wall itself, an enormous snake-like barrier traversing the entire badlands-type landscape, stretched 60 feet high and, as we learned, was apparently built by the first Emperor, as well as Archchancellor Ghost-in-a-Jar, in an effort, ironically, to keep people IN (and out, but to a much lesser extent). The team elected Loki to investigate the situation while they all bravely provided back-up whilst crouched in the tall grass.

As she approached, Loki overheard the sounds of battle from the other side of the Great Wall, along with shouts of “You stop trying to break down my shitty wall, you goddamn Mongoblins!” After the ruckus had died down, Loki called out and was greeted by an Agatean man dressed in armor similar to Deck’s, who asked what she was doing there. Trying her best to hide the truth, Loki attempted to find a way over the wall without the requisite Visa, but was met with annoying red tape. It would seem that there would be only one way the team could (lawfully) cross the barrier: help take care of those “pesky Mongoblins” who were constantly trying to escape over the Great Wall.

The team agreed, but first had to fork over some magic items (and magic owls, much to Dialyn and Henry’s chagrin) before crossing to the other side. There, they soon found an encampment of malnourished-looking goblinoid brutes. Opting for the up-front approach, Loki simply stepped out and tried to make friends, which…didn’t go over great (at first). But upon speaking with the village elder, Thunder-Before-Storm, the Told Ones learned that these poor creatures were merely trying to get out of the Counterweight Continent to a less desolate climate where they could feast on vole blood to their heart’s contentment. They slowly accepted the heroes into their tribe, learned the ways of Tesheiba, and shared their ceremonial pots, which turned out to contain various…fluids…

Eventually, the team decided they could not just incinerate these “people” (again, much to Dialyn’s chagrin), but they also had to get their magic items back from the Heavenly Guard, not to mention the fact that helping the Mongoblins was probably the (ugh) right thing to do. Hero Life, amirite? Therefore, while a few of the crew stayed in the village, Dialyn and the rest took Sebastian the Horse back to the wall to “negotiate”.

Cut to Sen’dai running up the wall and punching a guard in the back of his head. This went over exactly as you’d expect, and the “good guys” were quickly drawn into a heated battle…“heated”, not only because it was unseasonably warm out, but also because the samurai seemed to have fire-based fighting abilities!

Thankfully, Sebastian was able to retrieve the Mongoblins and the other adventurers back to join the fight, and with overwhelming stabbiness, they were able to turn the tides of battle. And none-too-soon: Sen’dai, in an attempt to disable the antimagic field and retrieve their confiscated magic items, had fallen at the hands of one of the guards, despite Henry’s attempts to revive him by…forcing some goblin cum down his throat. As the Told Ones continued the fight, the Mongoblins swarmed in and joined the fray, stabbing the shit out of mostly-dead Heavenly Guards and scrambling over the wall like a bunch of creepy iRobots or World War Zs. The tide officially turned, the remaining samurai were dispatched, the Mongoblins made it to the other side (and feasted on guard-flesh), and our heroes were able to get their weapons (and Henry) back and continue on.

A few days’ journey more brought them to the city of Hunghung at last, just in time to witness the Agatean New Year Festival. The streets were abuzz with energy, crashing rickshaws, and of course, yet another Dibbler. But the joyful shouts and exciting firework explosions of the parade were soon to be replaced by terrifying cries and ominous fireballs from the sky…

With only a few days left to go before the Sands of Time ran out, would our heroes be able to deal with this mysterious threat, find the next set of Sands, and keep the Disc a-spinning?? Find out next time!

We're Getting Real SICK of This Shit

Go Go Told One Rangers! Using the Power of Teamwork to form into a super-golem-zord, our heroes faced off against “Terror-Cotta”, the gargantuan golem which had somehow integrated Twoflower‘s iconograph into its chassis. A heated battle got underway in the bunker of the Red Army, as the two titans of terra-cotta toughness duked it out in a no-holds-barred fight. Each Told One controlled a separate part of their mech, including a mighty chest cannon and weapons which slowly tore through Terror-Cotta’s defenses. Before destroying it, however, Sen’dai dashed into the machine and pulled out the iconograph so it would not be destroyed, and Declan ended the melee with a well-placed gonne bullet directly into its secret weapon, setting off a chain reaction which destroyed both mechs and brought the cave down on top of them.

As the dust settled, the adventurers pulled themselves out of the rubble to discover that their wizard friend Rincewind (and his ever-faithful Luggage) had been pulled into the red void. A new icono on the ground revealed a strange red devilish figure inside the portal. The mystery deepens…

Exiting the bunker at last, our heroes broke the bad news to Twoflower, who optimistically insisted that Rincewind would be just fine and that they should continue on towards his town. A week’s travel brought the team to the poor village of Sum Dim, where they met with the village elder and healer, Hibitu. They found her tending to the illness of a woman they identified as Mrs. Shu, mother of Ankh-Morpork’s missing zombie Reg Shoe. A brief conversation with Hibitu revealed that this plague, called the Black-Sea Plague (which had been forgotten history hundreds of years before but had decimated a huge percentage of people on the Disc), had been wreaking havoc upon the people of the village ever since a visit by some pillaging zombie pirates (sound familiar?) — but even after they left and the sick were quarantined, the strange illness persisted.

A knock on the door revealed a cheerful milkman named Mr. Soak, who was going door-to-door delivering his freshest milk, which the people in the town had apparently been drinking ever since the plague had come. Yet somehow, no one in town saw a connection. Mr. Soak disappeared, and despite efforts to track him, no trace of the man was found. Beau, after swigging an entire bottle of the stuff, declared that the best way to help the town would be to put on a play (because of course), and he and Dialyn set out to the kabuki theatre to start working on a script.

Deck and the others headed to Mrs. Shu’s hut, and despite all attempts to heal her, were unsuccessful. She made mention of her son Reg’s “Fresh Start Club”, and told the Told Ones to make sure her son was safe. They then went to the theatre to regroup with Beau and Dialyn, who meanwhile were meeting with the only living member of the acting troupe: Andruru Royduru Webberuru. After a quick tour of the space, Beau and Dialyn discovered a familiar squatter taking up residence in one of the prop boxes: the Death of Rats! They chased him outdoors, where the rest of our adventurers were waiting. A cartoonish game of PC-and-Mouse took place, until Loki was finally able to befriend the little skeletal rodent long enough to decipher that he wanted them to follow him.

Death of Rats brought the Told Ones to the outskirts of town, where Quoth the Raven met them, perched on an eerily-glowing well next to a lone hut: clearly the source of the town’s plague. Before entering, Dialyn told her friends that this was the very same plague that had stricken people in her town years before. She then decided to raise a couple of the deceased townspeople as skeletons to act as fodder—I mean scouts—and investigate. Inside they eventually found a scrawny, sickly-looking creature cowering in a corner, who told the PCs that he was Pestilence. He warned them to leave at once, but they insisted that he needed to scram before he killed everyone in town. His response was not exactly the kindest: he slammed the doors shut, and moments later, exploded out the windows in the form of an enormous swarm of locusts. Taking action right away, Dialyn attempted to blast the house with a fireball, but it was too late: the once pathetic Pestilence had transformed into a terrifying hooded creature riding atop a gangrenous horse. He announced that he was going to accelerate his plan and spread his plague throughout the Disc, so they he could “finish his paperwork at last”.

Of course, the Told Ones were not about to let this happen, and they sprung into action to defeat one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Unfortunately, healing around this disease-ridden monster was impossible, and even being near him would cause someone to become sick and exhausted. Little by little, the heroes whittled away at Pestilence, and Loki eventually learned that this particular Horseman was known for his cowardice, so the best way to stop him was to…well, scare him. This worked quite well until Pestilence shook off the fear and continued his poisonous assault, nearly wiping them all out. But before he could succeed in his vile plan, Pestilence was done in with some impressive fire-whipping from Beau.

After the battle was over, the remains of the Horseman congealed together to form back into his original, sickly-looking form, and informed our heroes that he had been possessed by what was known as an Auditor of Reality: terrible beings of untold power who had been at war with the Horsemen (and in fact all of existence) for millennia, a hive-mind of creatures who wanted nothing more than to wipe out the “complications” of existence and create a universe devoid of life, so that they could have ultimate order. Pestilence thanked the heroes for their help, and warned them that his fellow Horsemen, War, Famine, and Death, were probably being likewise possessed and made to do terrible things. He left to investigate, and our adventurers returned to the town and convinced the people that they were gods. Hibitu and Twoflower rewarded them with gold and powerful healing items and gave them shelter for the night…a night full of peaceful dreams, except for Beau’s…who dreamed of a room full of undead monsters, with a sign above the door which read: “Fresh Start Club”.

Home Mechanomics

Having just landed in the Counterweight Continent‘s (only) port city of Bes Pelargic, The Told Ones are immediately forced into an awkward standoff between themselves and a group of slavers, who, it so happens, have taken the group’s old friend Rincewind prisoner. The team leaps into action - well, more like tip-toes - to free the pathetic excuse for a Wizard and his strange Agatean friend, trying a variety of tactics: deception, negotiation, stealth, and of course, murder (you know, the Four Stages of Adventuring). Despite a “rough start”, the team manages to escape back to their ship, The Holy Vessel, thanks to some excellent teamwork (their words, not mine), and without murdering more than a handful of mostly evil foreigners. Good start to their attempts to ingratiate themselves with a new people who are already suspicious of outsiders!

After this, the group desperately tries to remember what the hell they made this dangerous 3-week sea journey to get to this continent for. They fail, but some divine guiding hand nudges them along the right path by presenting a binary choice: head straight to the capital city of Hunghung (this would be the “direct route”) but go through a more heavily-guarded portion of the mysterious Great Agatean Wall, or follow their new optimistic NPC Twoflower to his equally-mysterious village riddled with a deadly plague. Despite Rincewind’s attempts to convince them to stay away from danger, the group begrudgingly admits that they are still TECHNICALLY the heroes of this story, and should probably go save this happy little man’s sick town. 100% Altruism. Definitely.

Before heading out, The Told Ones check in with their crew (some of whom have quite literally abandoned ship), broker a peace arrangement with the viceroy of Bes Pelargic, and eat some “dericious rice balls” (you figure out that brilliant pun). As they walk through the Agatean countryside, Dialyn uses her newfound (but maybe from a familiar place?) power to revive the rice paddies throughout the land. Score 1 for Diplomacy!

The group journeys for about a week and a half, discussing their concerns and learning to cook sesame noodles. The grasslands of the outer-Counterweight Continent feel like a wasteland devoid of civilization, with the promise of more horrors around the corner. During their travels, they continually notice a familiar-looking raven flying overhead, apparently being ridden by a robed rat wielding a scythe…The team is given a gentle reminder by that same divine hand, and continue onward.

One morning, Twoflower announces that they are near the famous Red Army Bunker where he had dropped his precious “iconograph”, and much to the group’s collective annoyance, he passive-aggressively insists that by no means do they HAVE to help him…but again, heroes.

Yanking Rincewind along for the ride, our adventurers find themselves descending some stone steps into a dimly-lit cavern, where they find 6 enormous golem-type creatures who are…doing absolutely nothing. As their eyes adjust and they scan the room, The Told Ones find a strange piece of paper with a meticulous “drawing” of these same golems, activated; they also notice two metal rings on either end of the wall which they figure out must be affixed to a metal instrument in the center of the room. After several attempts at pulling the rings (and getting zapped), the team realizes that the statues in the room can be piloted from the inside! Using their new badass mech suits, they are easily able to attach the rings, generating a conduit of electricity (er, “lightning”), and the exit doors open.

Walking down a hallway, the group encounters a cave-in barring their path. Thanks to some mech-assisted lifting by Deck, and some sick omni-tool jackhammers from the rest, our heroes burst through to the other side with ease to find themselves…

…in a completely bare room! But upon stepping in, Deck realizes that this room is “more than meets the eye” (you’ll get it later) — the floor, it turns out, is a pit of deceptive mud! A bit of trial-and-error leads the group to figure out that the answer to exiting the room lies INSIDE the mud, and their mechs allow them to dive in without suffocating, locate the two identical keyholes (which their awesome robo-suits can apparently open with their omni-tool), and unlock the door.

This leads them to a final room with a sign overhead reading “Kil’n It!” (ugh); this room is, of course, a giant kiln. Thanks to their stone armor, however, the fire and heat inside proves little problem for the heroes, who basically just…walk through. On the other end, they find an enormous cavern littered with hundreds of these golem mechs — all standing there idly. Rincewind espies something in the center of the room and dashes towards it in a surprising display of courage (stupidity) and is quickly accosted by these golems. As the now-animated Red Army jerks to life and closes in on the poor Wizard, he is saved momentarily by a tiny blur: his companion “The Luggage”, who wards off the monsters with pitbull-like ferocity!!

Just then, a foreboding red portal appears in the ground by Rincewind, and a droning voice emanates throughout the room: “Yeeeah, if you could go ahead and leave my new army alone, that’d be greeeat.” Rincewind assures his allies that he can use his one spell-per-day to close the portal and keep “these things from getting out into the world”, but will need them to buy him some time. Rushing into action to protect the under-siege Rincewind, The Told Ones pilot their mechs into the fray, busting heads and taking names (names like Golem 128, Golem 74, and of course, Golem 219). Just as it seems like they are gaining the upper hand and Rincewind is about done closing the portal, that ominous voice tells his Red Army to “roll out”, at which point they all merge into one giant MEGA GOLEMZORD.

Looking up into the gargantuan titan of stone and metal, The Told Ones feel that ever-so-familiar sense of impending dread that Rincewind kept going on about…that is, until their omni-tools again beep with a sweet lightning bolt symbol. Upon activating the beeping symbol, their own mechs combine to form a slightly smaller, but still awesomely-radical, Super Mech of their own (name pending).

As Rincewind struggles to close this portal to who-knows-where, the stage is now set for a good ol’ super-exciting ’90s-style giant robot suit fight (I mean this IS the Counterweight Continent, after all). Will our heroes best the enormous Battle Bot?! Who is the mysterious voice? And will Rincewind actually be useful??? Find out next time!

The Gang Gets Along

Licking their wounds in the aftermath of their battle with the Sirens and PirateZ crew, The Told Ones were started to find one last uninvited stowaway on their ship: a demonic Babau which had been summoned by one of their own: Dialyn. Though the creature itself proved little threat to the newly-leveled-up team, the seeds of mistrust it sowed were far more damning. With a crew of injured, traumatized, and miserable sailor, a ship torn asunder, and accusations flying across the bow from teammate to teammate, things were not looking good for our heroes.

Still, the team trudged on, held together (barely) by Deck‘s captaining and cleric prowess. After casting an evil-warding protective spell on the Holy Vessel, Captain Morgan took some time to reflect on his recent experience in Ankh-Morpork: namely, awkwardly reviving Corporal Nobby Nobbs from the dead (at his own funeral). But his reminiscing was short-lived, as a familiar voice interrupted his daydreaming — it was Nanny Ogg, speaking to Deck through his newly-empowered magic broomstick. She endowed his broom with some degree of sentience, and asked him for a bit of his spell-casting power…which allowed Nanny to establish a brief, yet powerful, connection to the “Other World”, where Deck was allowed to speak with his departed wife Cordelia. While Deck struggled to find the words, his wife told him that she was at peace, and that he must open his heart and learn to live. She also issued a dire warning to stop Captain Jack S’barros at all costs…but to show mercy, for things are not always what they might appear. Nanny then came back on the line to request that Deck tell Dialyn to return to Lancre with the entire team at their earliest convenience.

Unbeknownst to Declan, his teammate Loki Lynx was perched underneath the poop deck, hearing at least some of this emotional conversation, although Loki herself was caught up in her own thoughts; thoughts related to the terrifying reunion with the lead Siren Vlaryn Vuuvaxath. The trauma ran so deep that Loki was rendered completely silent for days on end as the ship journeyed onward towards its port of call: Bes Pelargic, first stop in their visit to the Counterweight Continent.

Before they arrived, however, Beau & Sen’dai decided to stage a friendly exhibition match in order to raise the disgruntled crew’s morale. Their fight was super-sweet, Loki’s musical accompaniment was bad-ass, and lots of bets were placed. While Beau seemed the sure winner at first, Sen’dai used his newfound ability to run up and down vertical surfaces to gain the higher ground, and after a meteoric fall from the mizzenmast, Beau was pummeled into the deck of the ship and Sen’dai eked out a hard-fought victory.

A few days later, worn and ragged, our adventurers finally landed at the port of Bes Pelargic, a medium-sized town (and the only port in the country). They quickly found themselves the subject of many stares from the Agatean locals, and took efforts to remain inconspicuous. They soon stumbled upon a human auction in the main town square, where two large Agatean men with whips were selling off slaves to some richer people in the crowd. Though Loki, now disguised as a native, attempted to intervene, she was quickly outbid. As the group stealthily approached the situation, two odd-looking figures were brought out for auction: a strange little Agatean man with a floral-patterned shirt…and a skinny little wizard who was trembling uncontrollably: Rincewind, their first friend in Ankh-Morpork!

But what was Rincewind doing on the Counterweight Continent? And who was this fellow with him? Why were they being sold into slavery? And what the hell is a rhinu? Stay tuned to find out!

Pseudopolis Will Be JUST Fine.

The Told Ones suddenly found themselves surrounded by Supreme Lord Commander Captain Donkeyteeth’s new “bodyguards”, Hrun the Barbarian and his Silver Horde. While…advanced in years, the rabid geezers had bloodlust in their eyes. And probably actual blood on their swords. They wasted no time in attacking our heroes, who defended themselves as well as anyone being flanked by legendary barbarians with a magical talking sword in a sex dungeon could.

Which is to say, bad.

However, with some clever “Silence”-ing from Deck, solid blasting from Dialyn, and some very important 11th-hour help from the indecisive N.I.C.E. Police, the adventurers turned the tide and mercilessly slaughtered this pack of old men. They quickly sought out Donkeyteeth and, avoiding all subtlety, literally knocked his teeth out. They proceeded to untie the Marquis de Sod and Nevada Smith, the former of whom thanked them and swore to rebuild the city. Being the true heroes they are, The Told Ones declined a gift in gold, and instead took only the spoils of their battle (not the least of which was the mighty sentient sword, Kring). They continued to “pay it hubward”, if you will, by pledging a large sum of gold to help rebuild the struggling city in various ways (you know, important things like orphanages and police forces and also a whorehouse). They also managed to recruit a moonlighting-carpenter to help aboard the Holy Vessel.

Sen’dai received a Clacks from Mrs. Palm, announcing that Sandra was still missing but that Mr. Slant had been seen boarding a train for parts unknown. He vowed to find her. Meanwhile, Deck went to Brazeneck University (the shittier cousin to Ankh-Morpork‘s Unseen University), where the Dean agreed to sell Deck (at full price, naturally) a spell scroll and some other stuff which I’m sure we’ll find out about soon enough…but Deck was very happy/sad afterwards, as his teammates took note of.

Finally, the team was ready to leave Pseudopolis in capable(?) hands and venture back out onto the high seas. After over a week of further travel with little incident, Captain Morgan was jolted awake from a nightmare to feel something amiss. Traveling to the deck (huh huh) of the ship, he managed to use the pre-dawn stars to determine that the ship had gone off course. What was more, the crew seemed to be in a strange trance, fixated on the mysterious fog into which the Vessel was headed. Dialyn, sensing something from the panicking Henry, soon joined him, and with a yell from Deck, the rest of the crew was awoken and came to see what was wrong.

Aside from Beau (who held up an ear horn of hearing), none of the Told Ones seemed to be strongly influenced by the beautiful singing which suddenly permeated the air and took control of the crew. The affected mates began jumping ship to swim after floating spell scroll containers — which as we all know of course naturally spawn in the middle of the ocean. At the same time, Loki (who recognized these familiar singing voices) managed to see through the illusory spell to reveal that the ship was not gliding through a fog, but rather a bevvy of treacherous and jagged rocks!

Suddenly, the heroes snapped into action to save their crew members and right the ship before crashing. Grabbing the lemming-like jumpers by any means possible, they managed to save all but one, who was dragged under upon grabbing a “scroll”, almost, as Beau astutely put it, like “reverse fishing”. With the ship more or less under control, the team had barely time to breathe before the noticed figured stepping out from under the water and making their way onto the ship. And with them floated the familiar aroma of pepperoni and cheese…

Now being boarded by zombie pirates (or PirateZ) and lured by mermaid Sirens, the Told Ones fought tooth-and-nail as the sun slowly crept over the horizon. Sen’dai managed to notice two of the pirates placing a strange anchoring device on the side of the boat, while Dialyn drew a Magic Circle against the undead attackers. Unfortunately, the charms of the Sirens were too much for Loki, who began battling her former allies, as did many of the crew. Sadly, there were as many losses as victories, as 5 of their crew was lost to magic lightning and killer pirates (who continued to taunt Beau for his role in the ship fire, and Dialyn for being “just like Daddy’s Little Girl”…it’s almost as if things are starting to be connected by some mysterious, and genius, omniscient power). In response, Dialyn summoned a killer demon Babadook from an alternate dimension. You know, Warlocks.

As the battle raged on, Loki noticed an enormous typhoon swirling up in the water, as a beautiful, silver-haired woman emerged from the top and beckoned the Triton to “fulfill their deal”. Declan felt a power similar to that of his own god’s, Tesheiba, and all were enthralled with her alluring vocal arrangement. Loki tried to reason with this mysterious siren-leader, but she soon learned that her former associate, whose name we learned is Vlaryn, was not interested in bargains. She had, according to her, partnered with the " King of Death " and other high-level forces to bring the Disc to its knees, as “Life must be taken to give order, so the sea will take her share.” Her words, not mine. And speaking of words…

…Vlaryn smiled cruelly at Loki as she turned her gaze to one of the remaining sailor, uttering simply the word “Die”, which he promptly did. Suddenly, our heroes knew they were a bit out of their league (get it? Leagues, like sea!)

As Vlaryn closed in on the ship, one of the pirates got a hold of poor gender-ambiguous Cooper Porter, and the siren seemed strangely drawn to him. However, a well-timed dagger from the poor boygirl seemed to send the creature packing…although it seemed to have more to do with the rapidly-rising sun on the horizon. Recoiling back, Vlaryn teleported from sight and called back her minions.

As the disoriented crew of the Holy Vessel attempted to regain their bearings, they noticed there was still one more unwanted passenger aboard their ship…

Druid It, ā€˜nā€™ Druid it, ā€˜nā€™ Druid It Well (Or: Laurence, We Hardly Named Thee)

Upon discovering their ship, The Holy Vessel, under attack by the Order of the Hare (complete with a defected History Monk and a giant octopus), The Told Ones sprang into action: Deck commanded his men to attack and increase speed; Beau commanded his newly-trained cannoneers; Dialyn relayed the locations of the obscured enemies in the water thanks to recon from Henry & Cooper Porter. Meanwhile, Loki “tangled” with the octopus in the water, as Sen’dai and the Monk went fist-for-fist (not in the way you’re thinking, pervert).

The battle raged on as the lead Druid controlled the tides to cause tumult on the ship. Other Druids landed on the deck and engaged with our heroes, attacking the crew as well. As Dialyn blasted from atop the mizzenmast, Deck and Loki concentrated their spells on the casters, successfully knocking most of them off the boat. The octopus, who turned out to be a wild-shaped Druid in disguise, was reverted to original form by Loki and swept under the ship, which was gaining speed quickly.

Unfortunately, at the same time, Beau knocked the Monk overboard, who used some kind of water-whip to take Sen’dai down with him, and they both fell behind the speeding vessel. In a truly selfless act, Beau dove into the water to save them, only to see Sen’dai using his cloak to stay above the water and take out the evil Monk, who he began dragging back to the ship. As the rest of the team dispatched the remaining foes (except one who jumped overboard and swam into a strange red portal, dragging a crew member with them), the adventurers turned back to find Beau dozens of feet behind them and fading fast.

As Beau watched his friends sail away, he felt a sensation underneath him, and was raised out of the water by a strange water-lizard who kept Beau “loch’ed” to its saddle. Revealing herself to be Salencia, leader of the Skund Druids of the Moon, she brought Beau back onboard, and told the heroes that strange weather patterns had been ravaging the Disc, and her people were trying their best to protect as many lives as possible. The strange storms on the water also seemed to concentrate themselves on The Told Ones’ ship, almost like some sort of plot-beacon.

With the battle behind them, the crew continued on while mourning the loss of Laurence their fallen crewman. They sailed for a couple more days (with some spoiled fish as their only obstacle, thanks to Loki) before setting anchor in Pseudopolis. There they found the once-decent town in disrepair, and the former city guard replaced by Supreme Lord Commander Captain Donkeyteeth’s new “N.I.C.E. Police”. It seemed after The Told Ones left, Donkeyteeth took a strong “no foreigners” policy, beginning with paying off Hrun and his invading barbarian Silver Horde and instating them as official citizens…thus ensuring their protection (mostly from themselves). The money spent to keep the barbarians from invading, however, sent Pseudopolis down the economic toilet.

The gang quickly tracked down S.L.C.C. Donkeyteeth in his office and challenged his judgment, but upon receiving more than a little resistance and his refusal to divulge the location of Marquis de Sod, the heroes knocked Donkeyteeth on his stupid ass (get it?) and proceeded into his super-elaborate dungeon in search of the Marquis. After barely surviving several intense encounters, like guards painted to look like statues or stuffed into a dog costume, our heroes made their way to the Boss Room, by which I mean a sex dungeon, of course.

A pounding dance beat and some asslessly-chapped “torturers” made it clear what the team had to do: get fucked up and dance while having deep life conversations. Eventually, the ever-sober Deck utilized the distraction to free the two prisoners on racks in the dungeon: the archaeologist Nevada Smith, and the Marquis de Sod, who had a rather unfortunate…rodent…issue…

Butt I digress.

Upon freeing the prisoners, The Told Ones began moving towards the exit, as Donkeyteeth strode in with some of his N.I.C.E. Police. They were joined by the barbarian Silver Horde led by the mighty (and only non-geriatric member) Hrun, who was carrying a familiar object: the constantly-blabbering, and exceedingly powerful, magical sword Kring.

Will the group escape with their lives, and their anuses, intact? Or will Hrun’s Silver Horde bar-bur’em in the ground? And most importantly, will Deck level up in time to teleport back to Ankh-Morpork and revive Nobby Nobbs, the most important un-important NPC ever?? All this and more sea-ventures on the next episode of “The Great A’Tuinment”!

Canonical Cannon Building

The sound of horse hooves was heard overhead as Caliban Shazam opened his eyes. A figure stepped off a flying white horse, dressed in a robe and holding a scythe…

Beauregard Shazam, meanwhile, was looking at the body of his dead brother, and implored Lord Vetinari to allow him time to give Caliban and Farcon their “last rites” with Deck as his priest. Less than a minute later, Deck had performed revivify on Caliban, but Farcon, poor Farcon, simply didn’t have the brains (or the head) to come back to the land of the living.

Despite the team’s best efforts to help Caliban escape, the Shazam Brother was too overcome with grief and fury to run, and was immediately taken into custody by Vetinari’s guards, for…another purpose. Some thank-yous and nifty items were bestowed upon the Told Ones, and Vetinari ordered Commander Vimes to round up the fleeing Breccia trolls and bring them to justice (but not before a heartfelt exchange with Declan), while Lord Explosario would spend the rest of his days in the dungeons…with the rest of the rats. The Golems returned to work, and a sense of order was beginning to fall upon the city once again.

The travel embargo finally lifted, the adventurers set about procuring passage to the Counterweight Continent and taking care of some last-minute business. First, they all headed to the Watch House to see about reviving the comatose head of the Thieves Guild, the lovely Andalicia Boggis, but to no avail. While Sen’dai communed with Marco Soto of the History Monks and attempted, to no avail, to locate Sandra Batteye, Dialyn went to do some research of her own regarding “people with pointy ears”…

During that time, Beau, Deck, & Loki headed to the Docks to check on the status of the Beggars’ Guild ship (spoiler: not good). It was then that Moist von Lipwig, alleged con man and confirmed head of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office (as well as the Bank and the Clacks) delivered some mail from Quirm: first, a notice for the next round of the Shazam Fighting Tournaments; next, a letter to Beau from B.S. Johnson informing him of his niece Phinelia‘s supposed disappearance; and finally, a private note for Sen’dai regarding…private stuff. Deck asked about any word from Pseudopolis, and learned that no mail had been going in or out, strangely enough…Deck then set about acquiring a ship, and the Beggars’ Guild was kind enough to loan the heroes some capital to pimp their ride with cannons. Of course, the gang spent most of the day arguing about the best way to mount said cannons.

The team regrouped at the Mended Drum for some farewell drinks and toasts, and the group tried to cheer Beau up. Mostly, he just drank. Later, Dialyn brought him to Lady Sybil’s Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons and got him a nice souvenir card…and the two also learned that their old draco-pal Oliver was once one of Lady Sybil’s rescues. She asked them to bring him home if they ever saw him again.

A couple of days later, the group headed back to the docks to begin their sea voyage, joined by the gender-ambivalent Cooper Porter and a crew of scurvy sea-dogs led by First Mate Jerry. Deck took the reins as Captain, while Dialyn sent Henry and Cooper to keep look-out from the mast. The ship set sail, and Loki spent her days fishing and helping keep the company fed. Sen’dai mostly vomited.

One night, as the Told Ones attempted to plot their next destination, Loki set out on her own to watch the waves and dream of home…As she sat, she noticed three lovely dolphins swimming alongside the ship, and went to talk with them. Surprised that she could understand them, they freaked out and dove underground, and a strange blue glow began emanating from the ocean’s depth.

Just then, Henry and Cooper sounded the alarm, as Sen’dai noticed a figure running across the water towards them…with a symbol of a Hare on his monk garb. As the crew raced to prepare for battle, a long, slimy tentacle crashed onto the boat, gripping both it, and the heroes, in terror…

The War for Ankh-Morpork (or Shazam! I Wish I Wasn't Your Brother)

The Told Ones entered the office of the Rockfather, well on their guard with the criminal kingpin of Ankh-Morpork , who seemed quite at-ease. The conversation started friendly enough, although the Rockfather refused to divulge much information besides confirming, eventually, that Lord Vetinari was indeed in his care (alive, and being treated well enough). However, further pushing from Sen’dai changed the troll’s demeanor to a bit more aggressive, despite Loki ’s melodic attempts at diplomacy. Some clever Suggesting on her part revealed that Vetinari was being stored in the Pork Futures meat locker, but upon revealing this information and ending the Suggestion spell, the Rockfather launched his brutal assault along with the red-eyed helmed figure and his troll henchmen.

Thinking quickly as ever, Loki turned the Rockfather into a harmless slug while the other fighters (including a newly-arrived Deck and Lord M) dealt with the rest of the trolls. Beau was almost felled by the mighty helmed man, who then ran off to secure the “asset” in the meat locker.

With the battle done, the team brought the Rockfather to the meat locker, only to discover a hole in the floor and nobody inside. Returned to his normal form, the Rockfather said that there had been no hole there previously and seemed shocked, saying he had to “contact his new associate”. Before the heroes could ascertain who this new associate was, a loud BANG rang out, and a hole appeared in the Rockfather’s head courtesy of Commander Vimes ’ ballistic-firing weapon. He was quickly revivified by Deck, although he had no memory of who he was (despite Beau trying to buddy up to him). Some harsh exchanges between the Told Ones & Vimes yielded only further discord between the two parties, ending with Vimes dragging the confused Rockfather off to the Watch House and telling the adventurers to stay out of his business.

Not to be swayed from their course, the group entered the hole in the warehouse, and found themselves in the underground remains of Old Ankh-Morpork, the original bones of the city upon which the current city had been built. Several footprints, some animal, some giant-sized, led the team to the outskirts of the city, after which the trail entered the River Ankh and disappeared, apparently heading back for the city. It was near dawn, and trumpets began to blare from the Palace…

Moving quickly, Sen’dai reentered the city to attend the Guild Council meeting, where Lord Rust announced that a surprise newcomer had just announced his candidacy for Patrician, a much better option, he said, than Dumbleweed. Sen’dai attempted to stall the vote, saying he knew that Vetinari was still alive, but others in the council (like Mr. Slant and Lord Explosario), were quick to shoot him down. The council voted heavily in favor of Rust’s new candidate.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Told Ones waited with the hordes of citizens on the Great Lawn of the Palace, when suddenly, Lord Rust and the Guild Council appeared to, at last, announce the end of the travel embargo and martial law, and the appointing of the new Patrician. As if on some pre-determined cue, the new leader of the city appeared on the balcony, arm-in-arm with his lovely new wife: Princess Keli!

Just then, Beau felt a familiar hand on his shoulder, and looked up to see the red-eyed helmed figure. Rust announced the new “Mayor”: Caliban Shazam, Beau’s own brother! It was then apparent that the helmed man was none other than Beau’s other brother, Farcon, who ushered Beau and the rest of the Told Ones into the Palace for Caliban’s Mayoral Ball.

There, the new Mayor announced several changes (some public, some private), like a dismantling of the City Watch (much to Vimes’ chagrin) in favor of a new Breccia-run law enforcement. He claimed he planned to do away with the stringent rules of Vetinari’s and bring upon a new, more open-minded age with no Guilds and an emphasis on making the city “shine on the outside like it does on the inside.” He then asked Beau to be his foreign ambassador, and Beau was all-too-happy to agree. Dialyn conversed with Princess Keli, who revealed that Caliban had won her over by explaining his abandoned plan to stage a fake kidnapping during her birthday party — a plan which Dialyn knew was not abandoned, but rather thwarted by her and her friends that same night!

Caliban then called for a toast, but before he could get far, a loud rumbling was heard from outside the ballroom, and Lord Explosario announced that something was coming…Caliban threw open the doors to reveal the entire Great Lawn surrounded by dozens, if not hundreds, of golems, as well as the entire Thieves’ Guild (led by their leader, Andalicia Boggis). Suddenly, from behind, a familiar voice said: “By all means, do not let me detain you” and the court jester unveiled himself as the formerly-missing Patrician: Lord Havelock Vetinari! Gasp!

Vetinari finally revealed the full scope of his plan: knowing that Caliban planned to overthrow him, he had Leonard da Quirm learn golem-control from the Quirmian Alchemists, creating the uber-powerful golem manual which he entrusted to the Told Ones to be brought back into the city. Vetinari then struck a deal with Andalicia Boggis, who ordered her Thieves to steal the book and return it to Vetinari’s clerk, Drumknott. The golems were then ordered to break Vetinari out, but they came up short at the Alchemist Guild since Explosario had previously had Vetinari moved to the Pork Futures Warehouse. Eventually, the golems were successful in breaking him out (as evidenced by the giant hole in the ground), but not in time to stop the vote and appointment of Caliban to Patrician. Vetinari apologized to the heroes for using them as pawns in his plan, insisting that they could not know he was alive for fear they would meddle and blow his cover before his golem army was ready to combat Caliban and his Breccia connections.

After some harsh exchanges between Caliban and Vetinari, a vicious battle ensued between Caliban and Vetinari. The Alchemist Guild and the Thieves Guild fought each other as the Breccia and golems went fist-to-fist on the Great Lawn. Inside the Palace, the Told Ones battled a battle-armored Lord Explosario, all the while attempting to create some sort of compromise. Lord Rust managed to disarm Vimes of his firing weapon, and Caliban attempted to use it to murder Sen’dai, but was stopped via a last-second rescue by Sandra, who then went after the devious Mr. Slant. The heroes did away with Explosario and most of his Alchemists while the Thieves took care of the rest, and the golems overpowered the Breccia, but unfortunately not before Andalicia Boggis was incapacitated and captured by the last remaining trolls. Meanwhile, Farcon brought Dialyn near death, but was suddenly beheaded by the dual Assassin team of Lord Downey and Lord Vetinari, who then demanded Caliban’s surrender. Enraged, the Shazam Brother attacked his own brother, but was soundly defeated…with a vital stab through the heart by a distraught Beau. And with that, the War for Ankh-Morpork was ended.

With the battlefield littered with bodies, what would become of the city, the Shazams, and our heroes? Stay tuned to find out!


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